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Audio Description Training and Education Resources

This page is divided into the following sections:

Audio Describer Training

There are very limited opportunities to get trained as an audio describer.  Training is often held in conjunction with conferences.  Here we list the few opportunities that we know about, and we solicit information from anyone who is offering training opportunities for audio describers anywhere in the world!  The programs are listed in the order of next-scheduled training.

Audio Describer Training in Raleigh/Durham/RTP Area of NC - JAN 27-28, 2017

Arts Access Inc. of Raleigh, NC, holds audio describer training annually and will conduct special classes for groups, including travelling to their location, if requested.  Participants will learn:

  • How to articulate visual details effectively and in the moment
  • Tips for bringing audio description back to your organization
  • How to enhance the theater or gallery experience for the blind and low vision audience

Next Class:  January 27-28, 2017, at the Comfort Suites at 5219 Page Road in Durham (special rate available).  Cost:  $300.

For more information:  Visit the Arts Access AD Training Enrollment Page; email Jennifer Marshburn; or call Arts Access at 919-833-9919.

Note:  This training program is not sponsored by the ACB or the Audio Description Project.

Audio Description Institute (ADI) - FEB 25-27, 2017

ADI is held annually at the ACB's Annual Conference in JULY each year, plus several other times throughout the year. 

Current Schedule:  February 25-27, 2017 in Washington DC in conjunction with the ACB's 2017 Presidents' Meeting (ACB Affiliate Presidents), Crowne Plaza Old Town Alexandria (Virginia) -- View the ADI Agenda and detail and enroll here; and July 2017 in Reno, NV. 

The following information is generic and applies to all of the ADI training programs:

Topics:

1) audio description history and theory
2) the "Four Fundamentals of Audio Description" ©
3) active seeing/visual literacy-developing skills in concentration and observation
4) the art of "editing" what you see
5) vivid language: "The Visual Made Verbal"™
6) "Speak the speech, I pray you"--using the spoken word to make meaning

Program:

- Three full days of intensive, interactive training
- Last day luncheon will be provided
- Registration for the ACB Conference and Convention are included
- Registration for the ADP Conference is available at a discounted rate

Details:  Read the Institute Brochure (reference only after the current training passes)

NOTE!  The ADI is taught by the director of the Audio Description Project, Dr Joel Snyder, who has taught audio description all over the world and obtained his doctorate degree in the subject.  In July 2014 he published a book based on his work with audio description:  The Visual Made Verbal, available for under $20 by clicking the link.  The book is given to each workshop participant.

Developing Audio Description Skills 

This training is held annually at the LEAD Conference, which is generally held in August.

  • Learn the Core Skills of Audio Description
  • Apply these skills to your choice of live performances, visual art, or exhibits
  • Train with three members of the Audio Description Coalition, who together have more than 45 years of professional audio description experience
  • Plan the next steps in your professional development as an audio describer

REFERENCE From 2016 Conference:  LEAD Conference Full Agenda and Workshop Registration

Note: the LEAD Conference and its Audio Description training is not sponsored by the ACB or the Audio Description Project.

Audio Description Training Retreats in NC

AD Training Retreats

Jan Vulgaropulos and Colleen Connor offer Audio Description Training Retreats (sample of previous offering) at locations in North Carolina.  Their all-inclusive price for retreats covers 4 nights and 20 hours of formal classes.  Tuition, all meals, housing, and some transportation are all included.  A discount is available for students willing to share a room.  And typically you are a few steps away from the water!

The last class was in September 2016.  Watch here for the next offering, or contact the instructors below.

Visit the Audio Description Training Retreats website and/or contact Jan and Colleen for more information at adtrainingretreats@gmail.com

Note:  The Training Retreat is not sponsored by the ACB or the Audio Description Project.


Educational Description

Here we list pointers to information about audio description in education, both for training and for acquisition of the end product.  DCMP refers to the Described and Captioned Media Program.

Best Practices for the Digital Enviroment

Academic Articles

The History of Audio Description - Seminal Document Now Available New 10-8-16

We are pleased to make available a copy of Gregory Frazier's May 1975 Master's thesis on audio description, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman: An All-Audio Adaptation of the Teleplay for the Blind and Visually Handicapped.

Joel Snyder discusses the document in his book, The Visual Made Verbal: A Comprehensive Training Manual and Guide to the History and Applications of Audio Description, published by the American Council of the Blind in 2014. In the book, Dr. Snyder notes that:

"On the U.S.'s west coast: Gregory Frazier, a professor at San Francisco State University, formally developed the concepts behind audio description and general guidelines for its use. In its 1996 obituary of Gregory T. Frazier, the New York Times called Frazier 'a San Francisco visionary who hit on the idea of providing simultaneous electronic audio descriptions for the blind so they could enjoy more than the dialogue of movies, television and theater performances.'

"In the early 1970s, Frazier was relaxing at his home with a friend who happened to be blind. The evening's entertainment? High Noon with Gary Cooper, playing on television. The NY Times article relates that 'At the friend's request, Frazier, speaking rapidly between the lines of dialogue, provided terse descriptions of the scenes and actions. The friend was so appreciative that by the time Gary Cooper had shot Frank Miller dead, ripped the star off his own chest and thrown it to the ground before climbing into a carriage and driving off with Grace Kelly, Mr. Frazier … was a changed man.'

"Frazier realized that the concise descriptions he provided for his friend extemporaneously could be thought-through, edited, recorded and played through FM radio receivers at movies - or carried over secondary audio channels on television. Frazier, a graduate of San Francisco State University, returned to college to obtain a Master's degree in broadcast journalism, developing a thesis-'television for the blind'- that explored the use of description to enhance the 1974 television production of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

"In 1991, Mr. Frazier founded the non-profit corporation AudioVision SF to provide description for the performing arts in San Francisco-area venues. AudioVision SF still exists, providing description on a regular basis for theater performances throughout the Bay Area. In 2010, Audio Vision SF and Gregory Frazier posthumously received the Barry Levine Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award in Audio Description, presented by the American Council of the Blind's Audio Description Project."

Other Academic Articles


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